07 August 2016

[Part 1, #27 - #24] TOP 27 Most Overrated Horror Movies of all Time

I don't know how this could have happened, but somehow something dark and grim took over poor Maynard's body and mind, and churned out an insane amount of 9 articles about the most overrated horror movies of all time. Even worse, this sinister being forces the poor sod to publish the whole shebang on his blog! :-O Damn, shit happens.

Kidding. I just felt the urge to get some steam off, to rant a bit about horror movies who are so fucking overrated, it's ridiculous. I'm giving you my thoughts, the thoughts of other film critics, recommending other, similar movies that are so much better, and at one point, a good friend and fellow writer is joining me, delivering even more hate.

"Enjoy" reading all this nonsense at your own risk! Beware of some foul language and mean insults towards several sub-fandoms, as well some other slurs and general ranting. 
Starting of with Part 1.
8 more to come.

27.
IT (1990)
Director: Tommy Lee Wallace

Granted... In terms of made-for-TV horror, this was some kind of revolution back then: it was epic as fuck, it delivered quite some gore, and by casting Tim Curry as Pennywise, the filmmakers managed to traumatize an entire generation with, um, Pennywisephobia. Also, a whole bunch of really great child actors, the lovely-as-always John Ritter, and thank goodness, they left out the dreadfully terrible group sex thing from the book (what the heck was Stephen King thinking??).

Dafuq? "It" sooo does not hold up. What was once a real nightmare for everyone who saw it back in the 90s, is now a horribly dated, cheap-loooking and immensely disappointing mess that's hard to sit through. Underrated director Tommy Lee Wallace tried his best to turn the 1.138 pages into funky three hours, but... well, even though the book is bloated and far from being perfect, it's still a pretty good read, while the mini-series is at times so underwhelming, it's disturbig. Granted the first half is decent, but the second one is simply a big fucking letdown. Miscast actors, bad pacing, horrid effects and a finale so hair-raisingly stupid, you just wanna kill everyone involved. The giant spider in "The Giant Spider Invasion" is creepier than the one here *grrr*

People who still claim that this is a frigging masterpiece are either lying, or are just despicable nostalgics. One can only hope that the upcoming new adaptation will be a whole lot better.

To Quote... Jetset971, Imdb  
"Once we get to the second half, (...) the story derails rather quickly. The adult actors, many of whom I have great respect for, seem to be wasting their time and talents with this half-baked script. I just wasn't impressed by any of them and kept thinking about the kid actors and how much I wished they were around.

(...) The biggest flaw with the movie is when the adults go and combat "It". Talk about anti-climatic. I mean, they end up going over and beating the crud out if it and then everybody gets back to their everyday lives. Huh? (...) Nothing gets resolved here! It is a classic case of a movie almost saying to the actors,
'Hey, I am running out of film here! Hurry up and rush the plot along.'"


Better: Good clown-horror is hard to find, though there are a few ones that are unmissable, like the fabulously atmospheric slasher "Clownhouse" (1989), the hilarious "Killer Klowns from Outer Space" (1988), the Irish funfest "Stitches" (2012) or the silly "Drive Thru" (2007).

In terms of good made-for-TV Stephen King adaptations, "The Stand" (1994), "The Shining" (1997) or even "The Langoliers" (1995) are far better.



26.
SLEEPLESS (2001)
Director: Dario Argento

Granted... After a decade of REALLY mediocre lamefests ("Trauma", "The Stendhal Syndrome", "The Phantom of the Opera"), "Sleepless" was pretty much the last watchable, worthwhile feature of the once-so-amazing Dario Argento, delivering nasty kills, neat actors, cool music by his old fellows Goblin and probably one of the best opening scenes in his entire filmography.

Dafuq? What was hailed back then as "triumphant return" and "comeback of the year" is actually just a rehash of well-trodden Argento trademarks, age-old giallo tropes and odd ideas that would have worked so much better in the 70s or 80s. It's not a bad movie, but it's not that good either and just another reminder that Argento better should have retired after "Opera", which was undoubtedly his last true masterpiece. "Sleepless" is way too long (almost 2 hours), packed with unnecessary scenes, at times pretty predictable, at times downright stupid, at times just tiring because it all feels like we've seen it before a thousand of times, not just in Argento's very own movies, but in pretty much all Argento ripoffs from the golden age of giallo to the no-bugdet-heydays of the late 80s.

Why does it get so much love? People probably just wanted it to be so much better than it actually is, which is understandable after all the mediocre junk he had done during the 90s, but... let's face it, "Sleepless" is actually the same mediocre junk.

To Quote... Beyond Hollywood, James Mudge 
"Although Sleepless was touted as Argento returning to his roots, it might more accurately be seen as him going back to the well, as he liberally lifts plot twists and themes from Deep Red, The Bird with the Crystal Plumage and other past hits. (...) He seem to have lost his touch over the years, and he fails to string together a mystery that is either coherent or indeed interesting enough to engage the viewer. Most of his trademark narrative elements are present and correct, as he throws in past trauma, animal riddles, creepy children’s rhymes and a subjective reliance upon memory. Unfortunately, as well as seeming over familiar and tired, the story never really gathers much momentum or tension, with its revelations for the most part being clearly telegraphed early on. (...)

A real disappointment from a director who is more than capable of far, far superior work."

Better: Just watch any of Argento's older movies, but of course, only the ones he made between 1970 and 1990.



 25.
The Mummy Returns (2001)
Director: Stephen Sommers

Granted... If you turn off your head, your brain and your conscience, you get rewarded with a summer blockbuster that pretty much delivers the goods in the same way as the first did.

Dafuq? Damn it, fuck this retarded movie. This is a terrible sequel, shamelessly ripping off its predecessor, as well as the Indiana Jones flicks, especially "Temple of Doom". It's predictable, boring and overloaded with eye-cancer-causing CGI orgies. The build-up is the same, the jokes are the same, and Vosloo's non-acting... well, it was tolerable in the first part, but here, it's just dreadful. I can't believe that it was such a huge success ($433 million worldwide!!), and I think it's insane that so many people prefer this turd over the third one. The worst part is obviously the ending with the absolute worst-looking CGI that has ever popped up in an expensive Hollywood movie. Dwayne Johnson as miserable computer-generated scorpion-miscarriage is just craptacular.

In addition, I daresay that Stephen Sommers is just a bad director. "The Mummy" was pretty much his every-dog-has-its-day-exception compared to all the other crap he has done so far ("G.I. Joe", "The Jungle Book", "Van Helsing"...). You can hate me now.

To Quote... Jeanne Aufmuth, Palo Alto Weekly  .
"Parlez vous rip-off? No action adventure is spared a repeat performance in this CG-saturated nightmare. Want Raiders of the Lost Ark? You got it, Indiana Jones style, in the form of a reluctant, leather-whipping hero. Pissed-off dinos a la Jurassic Park? Will pissed-off mummies suffice? And how about those razor-toothed tribble-ettes known as the Gremlins? Step right up, folks. (...)
This is a relentless assault of such magnificent proportion that it required a ten minute, post-screening, breathe in the peaceful silence of my dark car, just to clear my head."

Better:
Since it's so similar to the "Indiana Jones" flicks, you can't go wrong watching all of them instead. Hell, even "Crystal Skull" is better than this not-THAT-overrated-but-still-WAY-too-overrated big budget crapfest.

Also, if you have ONLY seen the first one, just move on to the threequel "The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor" (2008) which is sooo much fucking better than the 2nd one, even though it seems as if only Roger Ebert and me really get it ["(It) is the best in the series. (...) Now why did I like this movie? It was just plain dumb fun, is why. It is absurd and preposterous, and proud of it."]



24.
Hostel (2005)
Director: Eli Roth

Granted... Eli Roth's directorial debut "Cabin Fever" was a stunningly executed and  pretty original homage AND redefining of classic 80s cabin-in-the-woods gore classics, but his second movie "Hostel" was in some kinda way an even more original and damn brutal horror version of Americans-go-to-Europe rubbish like "Euro Trip" or "European Vacation", interestingly written and set-up, with neat use of unseen slavic locations and gore galore.

Dafuq?  There was a time when Eli Roth was the most overhyped filmmaker on the entire planet, and every torture-addicted underage-kiddie was masturbating to "Hostel" (and maybe even to the god-awful "Hostel Part 2") - but instead of delivering more dumb gore-fodder (hell, where the heck is "Thanksgiving"?), Roth then spent too many years doing nothing else than visiting horror conventions, cameo-popping up in various films - some good ("Inglourious Basterds"), some awful ("Aftershock") - and putting his name-tag on Wu-Tang-helmed garbage ("The Man with the Iron Fists") or completely unnecessary sequels ("The Last Exorcism 2").

Result: his "Green Inferno"/"Knock Knock"-comeback pretty much failed, he lost the job of directing the upcoming big budget shark-blockbuster "Meg" to Jon Turteltaub, and by producing an absolutely unwatchable remake of his very own "Cabin Fever", he lost the very rest of his doubtful credibility.

Still, whenever someone talks about Roth, "Hostel" still gets mentioned, often praised as modern classic - which it clearly is not. It's a decent flick, but it's too long, too slow, too frustrating, and, like in every Roth-flick, it's definitely too packed with stupid characters. The biggest problem is that it just doesn't manage to live up to its basic genius premise. When I've first heard of, and saw teasers for "Hostel", I was so damn pumped - but after I saw it, I felt cheated and reacted in a "That's it???"-kinda way. I watched it two more times - both times, I had the same reaction towards it.

I'm 100% sure, if it wouldn't have kickstarted the so-called "torture porn" trend, and if Roth wouldn't have been so hardly supported by Tarantino, it would have been rather forgotten by now. There, I've said it.

To Quote...   Lisa Kennedy, The Denver Post :
"Watching the trailer for Hostel, it's hard not to wonder about the homonym implied in the title. Hostel. Hostile. (...)
There is another pair of homonyms that comes to mind as Hostel's purposeful but mindless carnage unfolds into a ridiculous moral. Awful. Offal. (...)
This second feature willfully takes us someplace cruel - and deeply unfunny. Just because that's Roth's intention doesn't mean his movie is any good, (...) nor does the 'Quentin Tarantino presents' brand guarantee much."

Better:  You wanna see young people travelling around, ending up in a place where death and torture are the daily fare? Then go watch "Wolf Creek" (2005). It is similarly built and paced, but in a much more tense and intriguing way, with characters that are much more sympathetic, and violence that is so much more intense and disturbing. Just like Imdb user requiem2872 said:
"Everything that is wrong with "Hostel", was done right in "Wolf Creek".


5 comments:

  1. the copy of IT that we read was 1,135 pages...
    Looking forward to the other films in this list... Have a great week...

    ReplyDelete
  2. To be honest, IT was good until we started following the adult versions of our kiddie heroes in the second half. It is this reason why I am kinda looking forward to the upcoming remake of sorts.

    Sleepless was also good but it did have a tendency to slow down in the middle act. Not my fave Argento film but considering the flops he made, it's passable.

    ...wait, people actually enjoyed The Mummy Returns?

    And finally, Hostel. Shit, no arguing there, man. Part II was better! Part II IS THE Hostel!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Several of these we have yet to see... thank you, good Sir for your input as to how these films are to horror fans...
      Wishing you and yours a pleasant week...

      Delete
  3. It is terribly overrated. Other than the first half and Tim Curry, it's freaking crap.
    Sleepless is barely mediocre and utterly forgettable.
    The mummy returns is the best in the franchise, bUT is still fucking shit.
    Hostel II > Hostel

    ReplyDelete
  4. Ha! So good to have you back and ranting again!

    "Everything that is wrong with "Hostel", was done right in "Wolf Creek". Says it all, really.

    ReplyDelete

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